Rickey Awards for the 2010s

I was reading the Old STATS Baseball Scorecards and they had a leadoff Triple Crown. It consisted of On Base Average, Runs and Stolen Bases. This is logical as On Base Average relates to batting average, Runs relates to RBIs and stolen bases is like, but not as helpful to winning as home runs.

I wondered who would be the leaders every year, as non-leadoff hitters try to get on base and score runs. Some even try to steal bases. I developed a formula like Bill James did for the regular triple crown. As Bill did his study, he came up with 1,000 total points which is impossible to hit. I did the same:

On Base Average: Maximum 400 points. I award two points for every point above .300 and up to .500.

Runs. Maximum 300 points. I awarded 2 points for every run up to 150 runs.

Stolen Bases. I award 3 points for each stolen base up to 100.

I debated the number of points for stolen bases, but decided I wanted an advantage for actual lead off men. Also, there haven’t been many years someone exceeded 100 stolen bases.

After reading a few of these listings, a Bill James online a reader came up with the name Rickey awards after Rickey Henderson, the man many of us consider the greatest leadoff man in baseball history. So, I will periodically call these the Rickey Awards.

2010 AL

Here are the AL Rickey Award Leaders 2010:

1. Brett Gardner NY 501
2. Juan Pierre Chi 478
3. Carl Crawford TB 473
4. Miguel Cabrera Det 471
5. Josh Hamilton Tex 436
6. Shin-Soo Choo Clev 430
7. Jose Bautista Tor 401
8. Ichiro Suzuki Sea 392
9. Joe Mauer Minn 383
10. Evan Longoria TB 381

What I Learned:

Brett Gardner was the only player who made the top 10 in all three categories.

Juan Pierre had a solid year in his first year in the American League.

2010 NL

Here are the NL Rickey Award Leaders 2010:

1. Joey Votto Cin 508
2. Albert Pujols StL 500
3. Carlos Gonzalez Col 452
4. Hanley Ramirez Flo 436
5. Jayson Werth Wash 427
6. Andrew McCutchen Pitt 417
7. Michael Bourn Hou 406
8. Matt Holliday StL 397
9. Prince Fielder Mil 393
10. Aubrey Huff SF 391

What I Learned:

Joey Votto and Albert Pujols actually stole a fair number of bases. Votto had 16 and Pujols 14. This gave 6 points more of his 8-point edge.

This was a low scoring year as on base averages were low.

2011 AL

Here are the AL Rickey Award Leaders 2011:

1. Jose Bautista Tor 531
2. Miguel Cabrera Det 524
3. Jacoby Ellsbury Bos 507
4. Curtis Granderson NY 475
5. Dustin Pedroia Bos 456
6. Ian Kinsler Tex 442
7. Adrian Gonzalez Bos 439
8. Brett Gardner NY 411
9. Alex Gordon KC 405
10. Elvis Andrus Tex 397

What I Learned:

The power hitters took over this year. Jose Bautista and Miguel Cabrara dominated in on base percentage did real well in runs and held on despite being single figures in stolen bases. Bautista did have 9 stolen bases to pass Cabrara to win the Rickey Award.

The only player in the top ten in on base percentage to be in double figures for stolen bases was Dustin Pedroia with 26.

2011 NL

Here are the NL Rickey Award Leaders 2011:

1. Matt Kemp LA 548
2. Ryan Braun Mil 511
3. Jose Reyes NY 487
4. Michael Bourn Hou-Atl 469
5. Joey Votto Cin 458
6. Prince Fielder Mil 423
7. Justin Upton Ari 411
8. Lance Berkman Stl 410
9. Emilo Bonifacio Flo 396
10. Albert Pujols StL 369

What I Learned:

The top 3 Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun and Jose Reyes finished in the top 10 in all three categories.

2012 AL

Here are the AL Rickey Award Leaders 2012:

1. Mike Trout LA 603
2. Joe Mauer Minn 418
3. Miguel Cabrera Det 414
4. Austin Jackson Det 396
5. Edwin Encarnacion tor 393
5. Prince Fielder Det 393
7. Shin-Soo Choo Clev 385
8. Robinson Cano NY 377
9. Ben Zobrist TB 372
10. Derek Jeter NY 349

What I Learned:

Mike Trout had a brilliant rookie season, leading the league in runs and stolen bases and coming in third in on base average. He dominated the Rickey Award in 2012.

On base average dominated the top 10 this year with 9 players. The only one who wasn’t in the top 10 in on base average was Derek Jeter who ended up 10th.

2012 NL

Here are the NL Rickey Award Leaders 2012:

1. Ryan Braun Mil 488
2. Andrew McCutchen Pitt 474
3. Joey Votto Cin 431
4. Michael Bourn Atl 414
5. David Wright NY 409
6. Chase Headley SD 393
7. Jose Reyes Mia 386
8. Justin Upton Ari 378
9. Buster Posey SF 375
10. Nori Aoki Mil 362

What I Learned:

Braun actually beat McCutchen due to stolen bases. Braun stole 30 while McCutchen stole 20.

Everth Cabrera of San Diego led the league in stolen bases but did not get any points for on base percentage. He actually had a on base average of .324 but was far short on plate appearances. When figuring out his on base average to the minimum required amount to actual times on base it was below .300. This happened to a few players in the top 10 in stolen bases. By the way Cabrera was 44 for 48 in stolen bases.

2013 AL

Here are the AL Rickey Award Leaders 2013:

1. Mike Trout LA 581
2. Miguel Cabrera Det 499
3. Jacoby Ellsbury Bos 450
4. Jason Kipnis Clev 394
5. Dustin Pedroia Bos 377
6. David Ortiz Bos 370
7. Elvis Andrus Tex 364
8. Josh Donaldson Oak 361
9. Chris Davis Balt 358
10. Robinson Cano NY 349

What I Learned:

Mike Trout wasn’t as dominate as his rookie year but he still won rather easily. Miguel Cabrera was the only one who put any pressure on him.

The World Champion Red Sox had three of the top 6.

Well Chris Davis was decent with the bat in 2013 coming in 9th place.

At the end of the year the Texas Rangers had the players who came in third (Elvis Andrus), tied for third (Alex Rios) and 5th (Leonys Martin) in stolen bases. They picked up Rios in a trade on August 9th. He stole 16 bases in 17 attempts for Texas.

2013 NL

Here are the NL Rickey Award Leaders 2013:

1. Shin-Soo Choo Cin 520
2. Joey Votto Cin 490
3. Andrew McCutchen Pitt 483
4. Paul Goldshmidt Ari 453
5. Matt Carpenter StL 445
6. Matt Holliday StL 402
7. Jayson Werth Wash 394
8. Starling Marie Pitt 375
9. Freddie Freeman Atl 373
10. Mike Cuddyer Col 356
10. Carlos Gomez Mil 356

What I Learned:

Cincinnati with the top two players made the playoffs and were third in the National League in runs scored. They were also second in on base percentage. Both Votto and Choo took a lot of pitches which must have drove opposing pitchers crazy.

Juan Pierre finished his final year barely making the top 10 in stolen bases, but not much else.

Eric Young Jr. led the league in stolen bases with 46. It would be the highlight of his career.

2014 AL

Here are the AL Rickey Award Leaders 2014:

1. Jose Altuve Hou 492
2. Mike Trout LA 432
3. Michael Brantley Clev 427
4. Jose Bautista Tor 426
5. Victor Martinez Det 401
6. Brian Dozier Minn 377
7. Robinson Cano Sea 348
8. Miguel Cabrera Det 347
9. Adrian Beltre Tex 337
10. Jose Abrue Chi 335

What I Learned:

Mike Trout had an off year in 2014. At least for him. Jose Altuve had the same on base average as Trout and stole a lot (40) more bases than Trout to take the 2014 Rickey Award.

The top 10 in on base average had 9 players n the top 10 for the Rickey Award. The only plyer in the top 10 for on base average who wasn’t was Dexter Fowler. The only player who made the top 10 in the Rickey Award despite not making the top 10 in on base average was Brian Dozier.

Michael Brantley stole 23 bases in 24 attempts.

2014 NL

Here are the NL Rickey Award Leaders 2014:

1. Andrew McCutchen Pitt 452
2. Dee Gordon LA 428
3. Giancarlo Stanton Flo 407
4. Carlos Gomez Mil 404
5. Denard Span Wash 391
6. Jayson Werth Wash 385
7. Yasiel Puig LA 381
8. Anthony Rendon Wash 375
9. Christian Yelich Mia 375
10. Freddie Freeman Atl 367

What I Learned:

McCutchen was first in on base percentage, in the top ten for runs and fairly solid in stolen bases to take the Rickey Award.

Dee Gordon led the league in stolen bases to help him take second.

2015 AL

Here are the AL Rickey Award Leaders 2015:

1. Mike Trout LA 445
2. Miguel Cabrera Det 411
3. Lorenzo Cain KC 408
4. Josh Donaldson Tor 404
5. Jose Bautista Tor 394
6. Jose Altuve Hou 392
7. Manny Machado Balt 382
8. Adam Eaton Chi 357
9. Jason Kipnis Clev 352
10. Shin-Soo Choo Tex 350

What I Learned:

Trout would have beat Cabrera without his 11 stolen bases.

2015 NL

Here are the NL Rickey Award Leaders 2015:

1. Bryce Harper Wash 574
2. Joey Votto Cin 541
3. Paul Goldschmidt Ari 539
4. A.J. Pollock Ari 473
5. Dee Gordon Mia 468
6. Andrew McCutchen Pitt 417
7. Anthony Rizzo Chi 413
8. Charlie Blackmon Col 409
9. Ryan Braun Mil 358
10. Curtis Granderson NY 357

What I Learned:

Bryce Harper dominated, but Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt didn’t make it easy.

2016 AL

Here are the AL Rickey Award Leaders 2016:

1. Mike Trout LA 618
2. Jose Altuve Hou 498
3. Josh Donaldson Tor 473
4. Mookie Betts Bos 448
5. Dustin Pedroia Bos 383
6. Xander Bogaerts Bos 381
7. George Springer Hou 377
8. Ian Kinsler Det 372
9. Miguel Cabrera Det 370
10. David Ortiz Bos 366

What I Learned:

Mike Trout almost won the leadoff triple crown. He led the league in on base average (by a big margin), runs (by 1) and was tied for second in stolen bases. However, he was 13 behind the leader so it wasn’t that close. Still quite a season.

We have a preview of the future as Boston had 4 (Wow) players in the top 10 and Houston had 2.

2016 NL

Here are the NL Rickey Award Leaders 2016:

1. Paul Goldschmidt Ari 530
2. Jonathan Villar Mil 508
3. Joey Votto Cin 494
4. D.J. LaMahieu Col 473
5. Jean Segura Ari 439
6. Kris Bryant Chi 436
7. Charlie Blackmon Col 435
8. Freddie Freeman Atl 422
9. Starling Marte Pitt 407
10. Dexter Fowler Chi 393

What I Learned:

The National league was strong with two players over 500 and another 7 over 400.

The World Champion Cubs had 4 players in the top 10 in on base percentage with two making this list.

Jonathan Villar had quite a year even though he was only in the top 10 in stolen bases. He did lead the league in stolen bases. He was above average in both on base percentage and runs scored.

2017 AL

Here are the AL Rickey Award Leaders 2017:

1. Jose Altuve Hou 540
2. Mike Trout LA 534
3. Aaron Judge NY 527
4. Jose Ramirez Clev 413
5. Eric Hosmer KC 384
6. Brian Dozier Minn 378
7. Lorenzo Cain KC 376
8. George Springer Hou 373
9. Mookie Betts Bos 368
10. Justin Upton Det-LA 364

What I Learned:

The top 3 were definitely the top three position players in the league and showed their dominance in the Rickey Award. They are over 100 points ahead of the rest of the field.

2017 NL

Here are the NL Rickey Award Leaders 2017:

1. Joey Votto Cin 535
2. Charlie Blackmon Col 514
3. Paul Goldshmidt Ari 496
4. Dee Gordon Mia 490
5. Tommy Pham StL 487
6. Kris Bryant Chi 461
7. Bryce Harper Wash 412
8. Anthony Rizzo Chi 412
9. Gaincarlo Stanton Mia 404
10. Freddie Freeman Atl 398

What I Learned:

Charlie Blackmon was helped a lot by his ballpark. I’m glad not too many Rockies have won as they are helped a lot by their ballpark.

Billy Hamilton hasn’t made the top 10 for the Rickey Award which shows you have to get on base to score no matter how fast you are.

2018 AL

Here are the AL Rickey Award Leaders 2018:

1. Mookie Betts Bos 624
2. Mike Trout LA 594
3. Jose Ramirez Clev 496
4. Whit Merrifield KC 445
5. JD Martinez Bos 444
6. Alex Bregman Hou 428
7. Francisco Lindor Clev 437
8. Andrew Benintendi Bos 401
9. Jose Altuve Hou 391
10. Mallex Smith TB 384

What I Learned:

Mike Trout had his best year (for the Rickey Award) in a while, but Mookie Betts still beat him.

Whit Merrifield and Mallex Smith came in first and second in stolen bases and ninth and tenth in on base percentage.

2018 NL

Here are the NL Rickey Award Leaders 2018:

1. Christian Yelich Mil 506
2. Lorenzo Cain Mil 460
3. Bryce Harper Wash 431
4. Trea Turner Wash 423
5. Freddie Freeman Atl 394
6. Charlie Blackmon Col 390
7. Brandon Nimo NY 389
7. Paul Goldschmidt Ari 389
9. Matt Carpenter StL 382
10. Joey Votto Cin 374

What I learned:

Defending champ Joey Votto finished in 10th despite leading the league in on base percentage.

Trea Turner led the league in stolen bases.

Bryce Harper had done well. I expected him to win in 2015. I didn’t know he would be in the top 10 in 2017 and 2018.

2019 AL

Here are the leaders for the 2019 AL Rickey Awards:

1. Mike Trout LA 529
2. Alex Bregman Hou 505
3. Mookie Betts Bos 500
4. Carlos Santana Clev 426
5. Jonathan Villar Bal 420
6. Marcus Semien Oak 414
7. Rafael Devers Bos 404
8. Xander Bogaerts Bos 400
9. D.J. LeMajieu NY 383
10. George Springer Hou 376

What I Learned:

This was Trout’s 5th title in 8 years, but his first since 2016.

It took only 21 stolen bases to make the top 10. Stolen bases are becoming less and less of the American League game.

2019 NL

Here are the leaders for the 2019 NL Rickey Awards:

1. Christian Yelich Mil 548
2. Cody Bellinger LA 499
3. Ronald Acuna Jr. Atl 495
4. Anthony Rendon Wash 473
5. Juan Soto Wash 458
6. Freddie Freeman Atl 422
7. Trevor Story Col 417
8. Anthony Rizzo Chi 403
9. Trea Turner Wash 403
10. Katel Marte Ari 402

What I Learned:

Ronald Acuna Jr. led the league in runs and stolen bases with a decent on base average but came in third. A large part of it is his stolen base total of 37 is awful low for a leader.

Speaking of low stolen bases, it took only 19 stolen bases to make the top 10.

Top 10 AL 1950s

Specifically, for this article I figured the top 10 in each league for the decade as a whole. I gave points for each of the top 10. I gave 12 points for first, 10 for second 8 for third on down to 1 point for 10th. Here are the top 10 for the decade with their total points for the decade listed behind them.

  1. Mike Trout 90
  2. Miguel Cabrera 50
  3. Jose Altuve 41
  4. Jose Bautista 29
  5. Mookie Betts 29
  6. Dustin Pedroia 18
  7. Jacoby Ellsbury 16
  8. Brett Gardner 15
  9. Jose Ramirez 15
  10. Alex Bregman 15

What I learned:

Mike Trout pretty much dominated the competition. Jose Altuve and Mookie Betts might do well next decade, but Altuve is a bit of a free swinger.

After the top 5 the results are pretty much random as nobody scored many points.

Top 10 AL 1950s

  1. Joey Votto 67
  2. Andrew McCutchen 40
  3. Paul Goldschmidt 31
  4. Christian Yelich 26
  5. Bryce Harper 24
  6. Ryan Braun 24
  7. Dee Gordon 23
  8. Charlie Blackmon 22
  9. Freddie Freeman 19
  10. Michael Bourn 18

What I learned:

Votto took the title as he was consistent for getting on base the whole decade. He had two firsts and two seconds. McCutchen and Harper were good all around but not consistent enough to take the title. Christian Yelich should be a strong candidate in the 2020s.